This Week On DVD and Blu-ray: September 14, 2010


Breathless (Criterion Collection)
Unfortunately my duties here in Toronto means I haven’t yet had the chance to watch Criterion’s Blu-ray edition of Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless, but you better believe it will be one of the first things I do when I get back to Seattle. If you ask me this is a must buy sight unseen. says this Blu-ray offers “a more balanced look” than previous DVD editions while DVD Beaver seems to suggest the Blu-ray is of higher quality, but the improvements are subtle.

What I’d say this boils down to is whether or not you already own the 2-Disc Criterion DVD edition. If you already own that then perhaps the new Blu-ray isn’t necessary, but I firmly believe this is a film everyone must own and if you are yet to have it as part of your collection you can’t go wrong with the BD edition.

Buy Breathless (Criterion Collection)
Now this one I was able to catch a glimpse of just before I left and it looks amazing. I’ve never made a best of all-time list but I can tell you if I was going to both Seven and Breathless would be on my list, which means this week is getting pretty damned expensive and we’re not done yet.
Buy Seven
The Third Man (StudioCanal Collection)
Here we have yet another great film and if you didn’t scoop up Criterion’s Blu-ray edition before it went out of print you now have a second chance to get The Third Man on Blu-ray. On top of that, it may be the one some of you have been looking for. I personally thought Criterion’s edition looked great, but there were complaints concerning the amount of visible grain. Well, a look at the screen captures comparing Lionsgate’s new StudioCanal edition versus Criterion’s shows that the grain is gone. Which version do you prefer?
Buy The Third Man (StudioCanal Collection)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest: Collector’s Edition
As if you didn’t have enough to buy already, I can tell you this Blu-ray and this packaging is stellar. Just before I left for Toronto I was able to watch this one and on top of the excellent high-definition transfer I simply fell in love with this film all over again. I’m not sure how many times I’ve seen One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, but it never fails to impress. Nicholson is pitch-perfect along with Louise Fletcher whose Nurse Ratched may be one of the best villains of all time. Add in Will Sampson, Brad Dourif, Danny DeVito and Christopher Lloyd and you have an irresistible package.
Buy One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest: Collector's Edition
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
I also watched this one again on Blu-ray and it remains a ho-hum snoozer that just doesn’t impress me in the slightest. I’ll defer to my theatrical review for further comment:

I expected a big dumb fantasy epic, but instead got a boring slog in a sandbox. Yeah, lots of money was spent on CGI sand and time-turning mystical daggers, but the money would have been better spent on a script rewrite, an adrenaline injection and character development as the flat narrative goes nowhere and the characters are wholly uninteresting.

Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.

Buy Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done
I haven’t yet seen Werner Herzog’s My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done, but I didn’t hear good things. I will, however, be seeing his 3D documentary Cave of Forgotten Dreams tomorrow here in Toronto. Now that I can’t wait to see.
Buy My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done
Letters to Juliet
Yikes, another bad one. I don’t blame you if you scroll back to the top now where the good movies are.
Buy Letters to Juliet
Just Wright
Okay, to be fair I haven’t seen this one so I don’t know if it’s good or bad. I can say I have no interest in seeing it though.
Buy Just Wright